The guys from Riot Games don't really like to stay still – instead, the company makes big annual changes to its game's gameplay. Sometimes this affects the esports side as well. Today we will tell you about the new things for the fans to look out for in the game's 2020 esports season.
The appearance of the Pacific Championship Series was the major change to the world esports scene. The Taiwan League was abolished by the organizers in favor of creating a full-fledged Southeast Asia competition.
This championship has allocated its spots to the region's most stable organizations. The company has spent a number of months verifying each and every team that has applied for a league spot. As such, despite still being young, this championship shows much stability.
Those who have managed to get into the new Southeast Asia league:
- ahq eSports Club (Taipei);
- Alpha Esports (Taipei);
- J Team (Taipei);
- G-Rex Gaming (Hong Kong);
- Hong Kong Attitude (Hong Kong);
- Talon (Hong Kong);
- Resurgence (Singapore);
- Liyab Esports (Manila);
- Nova Esports (Bangkok).
The company will be further assisted in the organization of PCS by both FunPlus Esports and Garena, with the latter being the game's publisher in this region. It should be noted that FunPlus Esports is independent of FunPlus Phoenix hence there will be no possible conflict of interests. Overall, this three-way partnership looks like it will be quite helpful to many aspects of the competition – especially when it comes to the search of sponsors and finances. PCS Spring Split will begin in a month, on February 8th.
The changes have affected the titular North American competition, as the Riot have decided to abolish the World Championship regional qualifiers in 2020. This means that the changes have also affected the playoff stages of both the spring split and the summer split.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the summer of 2020, where the region's representatives will be able to enter the 2020 World Championship through the playoff stage. Instead, the tournament will now feature the Double-Elimination format (of course including the losers grid). The summer's final stage will allocate eight slots to the teams, as compared to only six team slots before.
This also means that the American teams no longer get a second chance. Failing to pass the playoffs no longer has the regional qualifier to rely upon for an extra chance. It can be said that this adds extra intensity to the competition. The absence of this kind of safeguard mechanism forces the teams to approach the battle even more methodically.
However, the European championship received no such changes, and we can see that LEC retains the regional qualifiers in case of LoL Worlds. One interpretation of this would be that such changes are meant to increase the competitiveness inside the North American scene – especially given the recurring horrible performance of the LCS representatives at the main tournament of the year.
Riot's attitude regarding the broadcast was also revised, and the North America will provide more content per week, thanks to the new shows: Monday Night League and Academy Rush.
Additionally, the developers of League of Legends have amended their vision for 2020 for the lower-class championships as well – impacting the Continental League (arguably the main event for the Russian-speaking community) and the OPL (the main Oceania competition).
An announcement from Riot states that the regular stage of the LoL Continental League will switch to the online event format, as part of the region's financial optimization. The money saved will instead help boost the playoff stage. Over the course of the last two years, the playoff stage has been held at the LCL studio (just like the regular stage) – being essentially more of a small local tournament than the proper large-scale battle for spots in the World Championship.
The Oceania was affected by the changes in a way similar to the North America, receiving new playoffs in Double-Elimination format in 2020. The company has stated that this would increase the visibility and entertainment values of the championship, increasing the overall “wow” factor.
In case you are interested in the statistics of the League of Legends regional championships make sure to follow our special page dedicated to the spring split of the game's 10th esports season.